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    Socially Integrative City  


Urban Planning

Conference "Future City – Diverse City"

Equal opportunities, planning, participation: For whom, by whom, how?

Comic by Greve

International conference in in the context of the Berlin Senate's program "Thinking ahead for equal opportunities"

Berlin, October 24th and -25th 2013.

Berlin's city government is facing major urban development challenges, particularly in terms of the supply of housing and safeguarding affordable rents. The development of an "Urban Development Concept 2030", the recent "Strategic Concept for Affordable Housing" (Stadtentwicklungsplan Wohnen), the "Urban Living Award" as well as deliberations about a new public land policy (Liegenschaftspolitik) are reactions to these challenges. To secure the quality of urban liveability, it is essential that the Senate's urban development policies take account of the variety of citizens' needs in terms of gender diversity, lifestyles, age and origins. This requires skills in both professional planning and promoting equal opportunities, and constitutes a challenge for the city' and districts' governments and administrations.

In this context the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, in cooperation with the Senate Department for Labour, Integration and Women's Office for Equal Opportunities, had invited an international conference "Future City – Diverse City" on October 24th and 25th 2013 under the patronage of Permanent State Secretary Ephraim Gothe.

The conference project was unfolded in collaboration with two university partnerships and during its final preparation included various administrational departments in the effort to promote Berlin's Strategy for Equal Opportunities. Apart from the most important themes and strategies for affordable housing in Berlin, the conference programme addresses themes that are crucial for a Gender Diversity sensitive urban development: co-housing, designing urban public space for cultural diversity, target group oriented public transport, urban time policies and urban safety.

140 participants from Berlin, other German regions and from European countries attended the conference to
  • find out about Berlin's projects and policies to promote diversity and equal opportunities through lectures and excursions,
  • learn from international experience with gender-diversity sensitive and participatory processes in different fields of urban development,
  • discuss Berlin's urban development challenges with local and international experts, in particular from a gender and diversity perspective,
  • share experiences in dealing with gender diversity in academic teaching and research and
  • participate in the experience of three university projects (developing the sites of the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in an urban design seminar and a summer school of the Georg-Simmel Centre of Humboldt University) in encountering gender and diversity matters.
These topics, according to the Permanent State Secretary's inaugural address, are central in dealing with the present urban development phenomena and issues and the future development of Berlin's urban society in its specific mix of functions and social entities. The topics discussed have partly been on the agenda of equality sensitive planning for a long time. In Berlin it can be observed how some aspects are dealt with in a more implicit way in the programme of the Socially Integrated City, in Neighbourhood Management and other urban development programmes like those promoting Active Urban Centres (Aktive Zentren) or the Urban Regeneration Programmes East and West (Stadtumbau Ost und West). A special need was thus observed to include gender and diversity matters explicitly in the development of neighbourhoods and the provision of housing, in partly increasing urban density and in planning for new neighbourhoods for the increasing population.

Following a multitude of reports from planning and administrational practice the participants addressed in partly self-organised working groups and dialogues how these issues could be dealt with in a productive manner. The results of the conference, further suggestions for action and an outlook on policy development and research will be published in 2014.

For now, this internet site provides you with the presentations, informations about the speakers' professional context and the fact-sheets of the focus-groups.
Inaugural address: Permanent State Secretary Ephraim Gothe
Inaugural address: Permanent State Secretary Ephraim Gothe

Working group discussion
Working group discussion

In conversation: Sibylle Krönert and Dr. Gabriele Kämper
In conversation: Sibylle Krönert and Dr. Gabriele Kämper

Documentation of working group results
Documentation of working group results

Berlin Handbook Gender Mainstreaming
Berlin Handbook Gender Mainstreaming

Excursion Students‘ Residence Siegmunds Hof
Excursion Students' Residence Siegmunds Hof
Foto: © baupiloten


Fotos: © Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt; Marco Heßdörfer, wenn nicht anders angegeben


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